87% Of NYC Bars, Restaurants Couldn’t Make August Rent

As New York City tackles with rising business closures and unemployment, a new survey of more than 450 restaurants, bars and nightlife venues found that 87 percent of businesses were unable to pay full rent in August, of which 34 percent were unable to pay any rent at all, Patch Reported.

The results released Monday by the nonprofit NYC Hospitality Alliance arrive ahead of the scheduled reopening of indoor dining at 25% capacity starting Sept. 30. “If positive rates for coronavirus don’t show significant increase, the capacity will be raised to 50% by Nov. 1, according to Eater.” New York City will be the last region in the state, a month behind neighboring New Jersey in reopening indoor dining.

But many restaurants are struggling to remain afloat in the meantime, and outdoor dining seemingly failed to help many businesses survive the warmer months of the pandemic, according to a report by the Daily Caller.

“Restaurants, bars and nightlife venues have been financially devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Andrew Rigie, the group’s executive director, said in a statement according to the NY Post.

“Even before the pandemic when operating at 100 percent occupancy, these small businesses were struggling to stay open. Now we’re seeing widespread closures, approximately 150,000 industry workers are still out of their jobs, and the overwhelming majority of these remaining small businesses cannot afford to pay rent.”

Eater reported that according to the survey, 60 percent of restaurant landlords had not waived any rent, and of the ones who had waived rent, only a third offered more than 50 percent concession on rent. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 1,000 NYC restaurants and bars have permanently closed due to the crisis.

“The hospitality industry is essential to New York’s economic and social fabric, and to ensure the survival of these vital small businesses and jobs, we urgently need rent relief, an indefinite extension of outdoor dining, a roadmap for expanded indoor dining, covered business interruption insurance and immediate passage of the Restaurants Act by Congress,” Rigie added.

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About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

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